Duterte to ask Widodo about Indonesian fighters in Mindanao
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday that he expected to talk over the phone to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to discuss the reported presence of Indonesian Islamic fighters in Mindanao.
“He will ask questions and I have so many questions for him. Because probably most of the foreigners are Indonesians,” the President told reporters in an interview in Cagayan de Oro City.
Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has estimated about 1,200 Islamic fighters in the Philippines, including 40 Indonesians.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier confirmed that foreign fighters, including Indonesians, had been killed in the Marawi siege.
Mr. Duterte said the Islamic State (IS) group may launch “retaliatory” attacks after many of its members were killed in the military offensive in Marawi City.
“And the retaliatory moves of IS, better keep watch. I’m not saying that it’s happening, but it will happen in the near future because of the inroads of IS into Mindanao,” he said.
But the President said government troops were capable of dealing with the IS problem in the country.
“Let the Armed Forces and the police deal with the problem. I know that they’re capable of doing it,” he said.
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